Drones are proving themselves useful in multiple ways: from delivering packages to acting as lifeguards to being spies for the military to providing Internet coverage. It’s no surprise then that media outlets are now looking at the use of drones for their reporting, especially since drones can get into areas that people, or helicopters, cannot. This summer, CNN and Georgia tech are teaming up to research the usage of drones for news coverage.
The CNN/Georgia Tech team will be looking at not just access to airspace via drones, but also at personnel and safety issues. They’ll be sharing their findings with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is currently developing new regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles. Considering the FAA has banned the use of drones for all commercial purposes, including news gathering, a large news organization like CNN wants to have some say in any rules that regulate them.
David Vigilante, CNN’s Senior Vice President, Legal, said:
"Our hope is that by working cooperatively to share knowledge, we can accelerate the process for CNN and other media organizations to safely integrate this new technology into their coverage plans."
Drones could cover certain stories for media outlets much more effectively than humans. In areas where transportation is all but impossible, drone coverage could provide valuable information. For example, a drone could fly into a major disaster area and record video footage of the damage. Drones could also be used for investigative journalism. Of course, for that to happen, the FAA has to approve it first, so we’ll see if CNN and Georgia Tech’s research affects any rulings the agency makes.